Researchers at the GLOBE Institute at Copenhagen University published a study showing that water may have been present during the very formation of the planet. According to the study’s calculations, this is true for both Earth and Venus and Mars. This means that in other worlds there can be water, which means life.
Astronomers have been studying our vast universe for a long time in the hope of discovering alien civilizations. But in order for the planet to have life, liquid water must be present. The likelihood of this scenario seemed impossible to calculate because it was assumed that planets like Earth got water by accident when a large ice asteroid collided with the planet.
“All of our data suggests that water has been part of the Earth’s building blocks from the very beginning. And since the water molecule is common, there is a reasonable likelihood that this would apply to all planets in the Milky Way. The decisive moment for determining the liquid is the presence of water – this is the distance from the planet to the star. “Professor Anders Johansen from the Center for the Education of Stars and Planets
Using a computer model, scientists calculated how quickly planets form and from what building blocks. The study reveals that they were millimeter-sized dust particles of ice and carbon known to orbit all of the young stars in the Milky Way, which were formed 4.5 billion years ago by the formation of what would later become Earth.
Until the moment when the Earth grew to 1% of its current mass, our planet grew by capturing the mass of pebbles filled with ice and carbon. Then the Earth grew faster and faster until, five million years later, it became as large as it is now. Along the way, surface temperatures rose sharply, causing the ice in the pebbles to evaporate en route to the surface, so today only 0.1% of the planet is water, although 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. A research team in Lund put forward a theory a decade ago, which is now being confirmed by new research.
A theory called “pebble build-up” is that planets are formed from pebbles that stick together, and that the planets then get larger and larger. The water molecule H2O is found everywhere in our galaxy, and that theory thus opens up the possibility that other planets may have formed in the same way as Earth, Mars and Venus.
All planets in the Milky Way can be formed from the same building blocks. This means that planets with the same amount of water and carbon as Earth are often found around other stars in our galaxy, provided the temperature is right. If the planets in our galaxy had the same building blocks and the same temperature conditions as Earth, there would also be a good chance they could have roughly the same amount of water and continents as our planet.
In the scientists’ model, all the planets receive the same amount of water, which suggests that other planets may not only have the same amount of water and oceans, but also the same number of continents as on Earth. This provides good opportunities for the emergence of life. If, on the other hand, the amount of water on the planets were random, the planets might look completely different. Some planets will be too dry for life to develop, while others will be completely covered in water.
Researchers are now looking forward to the next generation of space telescopes that will provide much better opportunities for observing exoplanets orbiting a star other than the Sun. The new telescopes are powerful. They use spectroscopy, which means that by observing what type of light is blocked from the orbit of planets around their star, you can see how much water vapor there is. This can tell scientists about the number of oceans on the planet.